Beyond the Beaten Path
ArtMag's Tips for the Summer
Modernist villas, witches' houses, cyclops, sculpture parks, and a surreal jungle of crosses: here are the personal summer tips of our ArtMag team. Have fun discovering!
Sara Bernshausen, Deutsche Guggenheim / Berlin
You can even stumble upon cultural highlights on hikes through the Eifel: along the pilgrim's path to Trier, near Wachendorf, Peter Zumthor completed his Brother Klaus Chapel-a minimalist monolith of exposed concrete. On the other hand, the maximalist version of Catholic piety can be admired in Lithuania. The Hill of Crosses resembles a surreal chaos-a veritable jungle of crosses and Jesus figures. Unbelievable!
An ideal stop along the way to Denmark is the Nolde Foundation Seebüll in the North Frisian city of Neukirchen. And the Louisiana Museum near Copenhagen is a real highlight. Modernist architecture, a high-caliber collection of international post-war art, fascinating exhibitions, and a sculpture park with a view across the Öresund-a perfect mixture, particularly in the summer, where visitors can enjoy a visit to the beach on the Baltic Sea right at the museum.
Anyone who acquired a taste for the Tintorettos in Bice Curiger's Biennale show ILLUMInations should also plan a visit to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice. It took more than twenty years for Tintoretto to fill the building with his paintings, some of which are simply breathtaking. And an excursion to Padua, where Giotto's famous frescoes can be seen in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, is also worthwhile.
Anyone following the path of Bowles and Burroughs in Tangiers should pay a visit to the Cinémathèque in the historical Cinéma Rif at the Grand Socco. The cinema, built in art deco style, is run by Yto Barrada, Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year" 2011; it presents an ambitious film program.
And in Berlin, there's also the Deutsche Guggenheim, of course, where current video art will be presented: Once Upon a Time shows how artists adopt motifs from myths and fairy tales to reflect upon social phenomena.
Liz Christensen, Deutsche Bank Art / New York
Especially in the summer, New Yorkers like to be outside. But that doesn't mean they have to flee to the countryside. The city also has its oases that blend culture and nature: for almost 200 years, Governors Island served as a military base. Since 2003, the island off the south coast of Manhattan has been accessible to the public. A temporary installation of dynamic metal sculptures by Mark di Suvero is there until September 25th. Deutsche Bank is active in the effort to repurpose Governor's Island, as well as a sponsor of the Mark di Suvero sculpture project. Modernism lives-at least in the Isamu Noguchi Museum, a small, and under-appreciated jewel in Queens that boasts a wonderful sculpture garden. The Japanese-American's objects, furniture, and lamps have lost nothing of their elegance since the forties and fifties. The 2011 Biennial of the Museo del Barrio shows young, innovative artists who come from Latin America and the Caribbean and work in New York; the show can be seen at seven different locations throughout the metropolitan area.
And when it's about escaping the city, you can find worthwhile destinations upstate. Some of my favorites are the Neuberger Museum of Art und das Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield CT, where Jessica Stockholder has just completed a project. The Storm King Art Center and sculpture park, situated in the Hudson Valley, is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. The artists shown here read like a Who's who of contemporary sculpture. And for those who don't yet know it: the Dia:Beacon, a marvelous art museum on the Hudson River, is a must for fans of Minimal Art.
The Hamptons also lure visitors with Minimal Art: the Dan Flavin Art Institute shows a selection of fluorescent works in a converted church. And anyone wishing to see how Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner lived, painted, and drank should pay a visit to the Pollock-Krasner House in East Hampton.
But for those who don't wish to travel quite that far, a simple ferry ride will take them to Staten Island, where they can visit the museum there. African masks, Warhols, taxidermists' specimens, and fluorescent minerals-there is something interesting here for everyone.
Achim Drucks & Oliver Koerner von Gustorf, ArtMag / Berlin
based in Berlin-the opinions on this exhibition diverge widely; already before the fact, it was termed an "achievement show." Decide for yourself if it's the best of the capital's young scene. In any case, the central exhibition location is a real hit: Scharoun's modernist studio building in Monbijou Park. Close by, in the Me Collectors Room, the cannibals are out and about. All Cannibals? presents various different artists including Wangechi Mutu, Norbert Bisky, Vic Muniz, and Odilon Redon.
For the summer, exhibition spaces with a garden are highly recommended. Among the most beautiful is the Max Liebermann Villa situated directly on the Wannsee. Currently, Liebermann's beach paintings create a vacationing mood. At the Haus am Waldsee are conceptual photo works by the Norwegian artist Mette Tronvoll. On the way to Potsdam near Glienicke Bridge, where agents were exchanged regularly during the Cold War, is the Villa Schöningen. On view are the very charming early drawings of Andy Warhol: shoes, cats, boys, and cakes; additionally, there are works by Olaf Nicolai and Tino Sehgal in the new sculpture garden. In the Schloss Marquardt, the 18th run of the Rohkunstbau presents works by 10 international artists on the theme of power. Included are Marc Brandenburg, Simon Faithful, and Karin Sander. And after the exhibition, you can take a stroll through the landscape garden designed by Lenné or take a dip in the lake-don't be afraid of the muddy banks, because the water is wonderful!
It's hard to believe, but the otherwise disdainful and entirely practical East Westphalia offers space for both visions and visionaries: currently, the MARTa Herford is celebrating the universal artist and inventor Buckminster Fuller. On the way there, one should definitely make a stopover in the old Hanseatic city of Lemgo; it was in this cute little timber framework city that Germany's last witches were burned at the stake, which the exhibition in the Hexenbürgermeisterhaus vividly documents. The real highlight of Lemgo, however, is the Junkerhaus, which the artist and outsider Karl Junker (1850-1912) filled from top to bottom with woodcarvings, frescoes, crazy furniture, and architectural models-a true gesamtkunstwerk!
Those who prefer to spend their summer on Mallorca rather than in Brandenburg or in the Teutoburger Forest should make a note of the Fundació Miró in Palma. A peek into the master's former studio is more than worthwhile. In Soller, the Villa Ca'n Prunera, built 1911 in the Mallorquin modernist style, houses a totally chic Art Nouveau museum. Among the special attractions are the wonderful floor tiles, which one would love to simply take home. People who like it more contemporary should visit the Centro Cultural Andratx, where the exhibition SPACE ODDITY is dedicated to the theme of spatial perception with contributions by John M. Armleder, Martin Creed and Anselm Reyle.
Do you feel a longing for the Fin du Siecle? Then you should visit the Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris. The former residence of the Symbolist painter is situated in a steep alleyway in Montmartre. The fantastic scenes, images painted as though in an opium-induced intoxication, are hung closely together. Only 31 miles outside of Paris is the small city of Milly-la-Foret. Jean Tinguely's huge accessible sculpture Le Cyclop-a 300-ton, 74-foot-high steel behemoth that Niki de Saint-Phalle covered in glittering mirrored mosaic stones-rises up in a forest here. The former residence of Jean Cocteau has been converted into a museum. The property with its large garden, appropriately situated next to the Château de la Bonde, not only houses the drawings of the multiple talent as well as Cocteau portraits by Man Ray, Picasso, and Warhol; huge shiny metal palms, roebuck sculptures, and African chairs also testify to Cocteau's very individual decorating style. Vive la Decadence!
Britta Färber, Deutsche Bank Art / Frankfurt
Whether for native Frankfurters or tourists-the temporary outpost of the MMK in the Degussa-Haus on the banks of the River Main is an absolute must this summer. In the dilapidated rooms of the structure, which is scheduled for demolition, the works from the collection suddenly look completely different than in the white cube of the main building, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the show. Included are some of the most exciting figures in contemporary art: Charlotte Posenenske, Andreas Slominski, Thomas Bayrle, Ai Weiwei, and Cyprien Gaillard, to name but a few. The most beautiful room is Simon Dybbroe Møller in dialogue with minimalist positions. In the Degussa-Haus, even the café is a work of art-Tobias Rehberger's installation Montevideo, Milan, New York, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore, São Paulo, and Tokyo originally served as a cafeteria for Dresdner Bank. Now, as a museum café, it invites guests on a world tour. The bright orange, 6,500-square-foot roof terrace offers a brand new view across the Main River.
Gothic meets abstraction: Imi Knoebel's glass windows in the Reims Cathedral, next to Chagall. Knoebel's works were made for the 800th anniversary of this French national treasure. A great honor for the former Beuys student!
On the way down south, one should definitely make a stopover in Basle-even after all the art fair hype. In the Haus zum Kirschgarten, Francis Alys smuggled his Fabiola collection: dozens of paintings of a young woman, always wearing a red headscarf and always in profile. He found the portraits of the saint at flea markets; in the upper-class surroundings of the former residence of a silk ribbon manufacturer, Alys's Fabiola invasion comes across as wonderfully absurd. But the Bavarian royal palaces are also somehow absurd and at the same time unbelievably great. My favorite is the Hohenschwangau, a pseudo-gothic fairy palace where Ludwig II spent his childhood. Just follow the Japanese tourists.
Mary Findlay, Deutsche Bank Art / London
In London, of course, standards like the Tate Modern, Saachi, or Serpentine Gallery are always well worth a visit. This year Serpentine Gallery's annual summer pavilion is designed by Peter Zumthor.
But for those of you who like to leave the beaten track, I'd recommend Wolfgang Tillmans's exhibition space, Between Bridges, where he consistently shows interesting artists ranging from the painting nun Sister Corita to Jenny Holzer. Or Auto Italia, a former car mechanic's workshop that artists have taken over to put on performances, exhibitions, and club nights.
And a wonderfully obscure place is Viktor Wynd Fine Art, a mix between wonder chamber, curio collection, and gallery. But for all of you who like their art a bit eerier: the crypt beneath the St. Pancras church, where the bones of 557 Londoners lie at rest under atmospheric vaults, has also been used as a gallery since 2002.
The southern English county of Wiltshire has more to offer than a wonderful landscape. Close to Stonehenge is the New Art Centre with its fantastic sculpture park. This summer, paintings and sculptures by Michael Craig-Martin will be on view. And opposite the Salisbury Cathedral, one of Great Britain's most impressive gothic structures, lies the historical King's House with the Salisbury Museum, which currently presents a show of John Constable focused on the landscapes he painted in Wiltshire.
Alistair Hicks, Deutsche Bank Art / London
Among my absolute favorites are the Louisiana Museum and the new Paula Rego Museum. Christened the Casa das Histórias, the building is located in Cascais-a painterly coastal city near Lisbon where Portuguese high society once spent their summers. The museum, designed by Pritzker prizewinner Souto Moura, shows paintings by Paula Rego and her husband Victor Willing. The paintings of the London-based Portuguese artist are full of colourful characters that would make even the Grimm Brothers blush.
Along the way to the Glyndebourne opera festival, a visit to Charleston is another great idea. The country house was once the refuge of the Bloomsbury Group. Painter Vanessa Bell and the two men in her life, writer and husband Clive Bell and painter Duncan Grant, lived here since 1916 outside prevailing social conventions. And they were incredibly creative: all the doors, walls, beds, and even bathtubs were adorned with decorative figures and ornaments. The garden is also a dream-and picnics are allowed.
Victor Hugo's exile on the English Channel island of Guernsey lasted 15 years. The French novelist lived in the Hauteville House, a brilliant white building on a knoll above the capital of Saint Peter Port. The unique interior, with its lavish wooden paneling, rose-colored wall coverings, and Dutch tiles, was designed by the novelist himself. In addition: as part of the Photography Festival on Guernsey, exhibitions with works by Samuel Fosso, Martin Parr, and Richard Billingham can be seen.
Mount Stuart on the Scottish Isle of Bute is one of the most spectacular Neo-Gothic buildings in Great Britain. Ever since the Contemporary Visual Arts Programme was initiated here in 2001, exhibitions of contemporary artists have been a part of the program each summer. Currently on show is Modernism has two faces…, in which contemporary artists such as Eva Berendes and Enrico David explore the legacy of modernism.